Well, I've done it. I've sent the manuscript for my second book off to my editor. You'd think I was sending my oldest kid to a three-month summer camp, the way I could barely part with the thing. I've been sitting on the manuscript for weeks, tweaking it a bit here, a bit there. I ran the spell-check and verified my chapters were numbered correctly. I made sure I'd inserted the same amount of space before and after each chapter heading so everything would look nice and tidy.
At the last minute, I clicked through all three hundred pages to make sure I didn't have any blank pages. I had three. That in itself made me feel like all this tinkering had purpose, but it also made me paranoid that I had extra page breaks or line returns that would slip back in when I closed the file. So I clicked through each page again. Clean. No errant blank pages. But, wait. That meant the book was ready to go. Checking each page had been my last action item. So I clicked through all the pages again. Then I sent it off.
To be clear, I'll see the book again, long before it's ever published. My editor will review it and send me his change requests. Once I get those back to him, all will be quiet for a couple of months, and then the copy editor will review it, and I'll make those changes. Then, the galleys will be printed, and I'll have one final read-through.
All told, I'll be seeing the book three more times, giving me ample opportunity to catch any glaring mistakes or remember an important clue I'd shoved to the back of my mind months ago, positive I couldn't possibly forget it, that I then forgot to include.
Now, I need to focus on my next book. Soon enough, I'll have to send that one off as well. After I run spell-check. And verify the chapter numbers. And check the spacing. And click through the book. Twice. Then I'll finally hit Send. And I'll miss it immediately. It's all part of the writing process.